User-centered development of a smartphone application (Fit2Thrive) to promote physical activity in breast cancer survivors

Whitney Allegra Welch*, Payton Solk, Lisa Auster-Gussman, Kara L. Gavin, Madelyn Whitaker, Erin Cullather, Emily Izenman, Kerry S. Courneya, Ronald Ackermann, Bonnie Spring, David Cella, Francisco Penedo, Siobhan M. Phillips

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Increased moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is associated with better health outcomes in breast cancer survivors; yet, most are insufficiently active. Smartphone applications (apps) to promote MVPA have high scalability potential, but few evidence-based apps exist. The purpose is to describe the testing and usability of Fit2Thrive, a MVPA promotion app for breast cancer survivors. A user-centered, iterative design process was utilized on three independent groups of participants. Two groups of breast cancer survivors (group 1 n = 8; group 2: n = 14) performed app usability field testing by interacting with the app for ≥3 days in a free-living environment. App refinements occurred following each field test. The Post-Study System Usability Questionnaire (PSSUQ) and the User Version Mobile Application Rating Scale (uMARS) assessed app usability and quality on a 7- and 5-point scale, respectively, and women provided qualitative written feedback. A third group (n = 15) rated potential app notification content. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were analyzed using a directed content analysis. The PSSUQ app usability score (M1= 3.8; SD = 1.4 vs. M2= 3.2; SD = 1.1; lower scores are better) and uMARS app quality score (M1 = 3.4; SD = 1.3 vs. M2= 3.4; SD = 0.6; higher scores are better) appeared to improve in Field Test 2. Group 1 participants identified app "clunkiness,"whereas group 2 participants identified issues with error messaging/functionality. Group 3 "liked"53% of the self-monitoring, 71% of the entry reminder, 60% of the motivational, and 70% of the goal accomplishment notifications. Breast cancer survivors indicated that the Fit2Thrive app was acceptable and participants were able to use the app. Future work will test the efficacy of this app to increase MVPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Exercise
  • Interventions
  • mHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'User-centered development of a smartphone application (Fit2Thrive) to promote physical activity in breast cancer survivors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this